Gym Outfits for Men: What to Wear While Working Out

Gym Outfits for Men: What to Wear While Working Out - Leo

Between cardio, weights and every exercise in between, going to the gym can feel like a competition in itself. The guy next to you is seemingly always trying to one-up you, even if he isn’t. While going to the gym tends to make you feel like you’re racing against everyone else, it should make you feel like you’re bettering yourself. That’s what exercise is for, right? 

While it’s really about what you do at the gym that matters, it’s also about how you prepare yourself. A pre-workout routine is arguably just as important as your actual workout. This means that rest, hydration and proper nutrition are vital to a healthy and safe workout. In addition to these important factors, it’s also important to dress for the occasion. Not only will a great gym outfit make you look great, it will also get you in the zone before you even get to the gym. This mindset will help you stay focused and reach your workout goals. 

Wearing the perfect exercise outfit sounds great, but how do you put one together? Good gym outfits for men based on a balance of stylishness and practicality without drawing too much attention to yourself. Plus, it’s easier than you think if you have the right pieces. If you’re looking to take your gym wear game to the next level, you’re in the right place. Here’s your guide to creating great outfits for the gym. 


leo mens briefs - Leo

What Underwear to Wear

A good exercise outfit starts with the right underwear. Though there are a few different options when it comes to athletic underwear, you definitely don’t want to wear your everyday boxers. Athletic underwear is made to keep things, well, in place during any type of workout. Good workout undergarments should feature a tight but not too tight fit with a secure waistband. The material should be breathable and made of quick-drying fabric to ensure the area stays clean, dry and comfortable throughout your time at the gym. 

Chances are, you’ll be able to tell if a pair of workout underwear is high-quality just by the way it looks. Check for clean-cut seams so you don’t get any unwanted lines. Stick with these guidelines and you’ll set yourself up for a super-comfortable workout experience. You’ll definitely notice the difference! LEO by Leonisa offers quality sports underwear for men in both long and short styles. Our boxers are designed to provide a better performance when working out thanks to their ergonomic fit, quick-drying technology and maximum support.


For cold weather workouts or a chafe-free exercise experience, try a pair of training tights as your workout underwear. Training tights offer compression and coverage all the way down the leg, which makes for a unique and comfortable experience. These are great for outdoor running during colder months as well as a preventative measure for chafing. Try wearing these while doing an array of workouts like yoga, CrossFit, hiking, dancing and more! 

man exercising on stairs - Leo

What Tops to Wear

Unless you’re working out at home every day, your stash of workout tops doesn’t need to include old cut up t-shirts. Instead, stock up on workout tops that will help you out in the long run. For maximum movement and practicality, try out a men’s compression tank top. These will slim down your abs, back, chest and stomach while you work out to keep you comfortable and secure while you’re at the gym. If you choose to wear one of these underneath another workout shirt, the seamless fit won’t feel bulky. As a plus, LEO by Leonisa’s compression tank tops provide added back and shoulder support to aid in improving your posture. Work smarter, not harder!

man walking on stairs - Leo

We know your workouts can get pretty sweaty, which is why you might need a compression tank top that will help you stay as dry as possible. Even if you don’t wear a compression tank top, make sure your workout top has moisture-wicking capabilities to help dry up your sweatiness faster than other fabrics. 


For those of you who prefer a workout top that fits more loosely, stick to absorbent fabrics. You also want to make sure that your top can move with you. The last thing you want is for your workout top to restrict your movement or leave red marks on your skin for hours after your workout ends! In this case, stretchier is better. 

What Bottoms to Wear

Gym outfits for men wouldn’t be complete without a good pair of bottoms. Weirdly enough though, these can be tricky to find! Keep in mind that movement is key when it comes to all parts of a gym outfit, including shorts or pants. Remember these tips when buying workout bottoms. 

man jogging in leggings - Leo

As we said before, men’s workout leggings are a great base for a number of workouts. Not only are they perfect for cooler temperatures, but they also give your legs extra support when you need it. They’re super stretchy and are worn by many men from the CrossFit gym all the way to the yoga studio.


If you do choose to wear workout tights, most guys wear shorts or long pants on top of them. Choosing between pants or shorts might be an easy decision based on the weather or your specific workout that day. Some people prefer to run in long pants. Others like the bare leg feeling of wearing only shorts while moving around and sweating. It’s totally a personal preference thing. If you’re a shorts person, there are a few things to keep in mind when deciding on your workout gear. It’s important to find a balance between stretch and support within your shorts. Make sure the waistband of your shorts is tight enough to stay at a comfortable point on your hips but loose enough for you to remain comfortable throughout your workout. Thin shorts with good support will keep you feeling cool and comfortable while at the gym! 

If you prefer to wear long pants while working out, make sure you have on a good pair of athletic underwear. Workout pants tend to be lacking in support, which is necessary in any cardio situation at the gym. Much like your workout shorts, choosing the right fit for your workout pants is vital. Since workout pants means more fabric, be sure to pick out pants with standard athleticwear fabrics that will absorb moisture and keep you cool and dry. 


What to Wear Based on Activity

While there are a few general rules when it comes to activity-based gym outfits for men, your outfit really depends on the type of exercise you’re planning on doing. As a general rule, your exercise outfit should always include quality fabric and exercise-specific materials. Shoes are also a huge part of your gym outfit! There’s nothing worse than tearing up your feet with blisters and sores because you didn’t wear the right footwear. Invest in a good pair of running shoes or workout-minded sneakers based on what type of exercise you plan on doing the most. 

man lifting weights - Leo

Here are more exercise outfit recommendations based on specific activities:

  • Outdoor activities like running, hiking, walking, fishing, swimming, etc. should include fabrics that can take the heat. Focus on thin, durable materials during warmer months and light layers during cooler months. Don’t forget your sunscreen! 
  • Cardio-based gym workouts like HIIT training, spinning, treadmill, elliptical and other indoor cardio workouts should focus on quality footwear and a traditional shorts outfit with athletic underwear. Keep things traditional and comfortable while you’re at the gym. 

what to wear - Leo

  • Strength-based gym workouts including weights, ropes, resistance workouts, etc. require a no-nonsense outfit that gets the job done. Think compression tights, shorts and a tight t-shirt or tank top. 
  • Workouts based within yoga, dance, stretching and the like are the perfect place for exercise leggings. These will give you maximum coverage and optimum stretch for a great exercise experience. 

Your Best Workout Accessory

Even the very best activewear the world has to offer won’t do the workout for you. A great gym outfit can pump you up before your workout and keep you as comfortable as possible during the exercises, but it’s all about your mindset and motivation throughout the entirety of your time at the gym.


man running outdoors

Your workout mindset might start off as a short meditation in the morning before you head to the gym. Getting in the zone can be a quiet, tranquil thing, even though some prefer to blast music and do a few rounds of jumping jacks. To each their own! Once your workout begins, remember to stay in the moment. If you think about how much longer you have until your workout is finished the whole time, it’s obviously going to drag on and on. Instead, really put your energy into what you are doing right at that moment. When the workout is over, thank your body for the work it has done. Breathe. Stretch. Take a moment to decompress. These ideals, mixed with quality activewear and high motivation, are sure to level up your workout experience.